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  • Writer's pictureNick Michaels

Celtics Escape Mitchell-less Cavs, Take 3-1 Series Lead

Photo By Nick Michaels/VSBN

Cleveland, Ohio

Entering Monday night’s game the Cavs needed to win to tie the series at two and keep their playoff hopes alive and well. The evening started off with the news that the team’s leading scorer Donovan Mitchell would be out due to a calf sprain injury and Jarrett Allen would miss his seventh game in a row. But the injury plagued Cavs would start the game 6-7 from downtown and fight toe to toe with Boston until halftime. Unfortunately, after the red hot start by the Cavs from three point land they would end up shooting 9-41 from beyond the arc the rest of the game and end with just 15 makes on 48 attempts. Another disparity that hurt the Cavs was the difference in the foul column. Boston attempted 24 free throws to just 7 attempts for Cleveland.

Darius Garland stepped up with Donovan Mitchell out, dropping 30 points, but had this to say about the way the game was called by the officials, “That’s not for me to answer, seven free throw attempts in 48 minutes is really tough and we drove the ball a lot! Seven free throws, two of them were techs so five total in a 48 minute game, its tough. Seven to 24 times at the line, I know I’m not one of those guys in a stripped shirt but I know how many times I get hit and how many times my teammates get hit, it sucks.”

Despite not getting calls and three’s not falling consistently in the second half, Cleveland clawed back in the 4th quarter by attacking the rim and playing solid defense down the stretch. It just wasn't enough in the end as yet again it was Boston’s dynamic duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum with 60 plus combined points for the second straight game and crucial free throws down the stretch to seal the game for the Celtics.

After the game Cavs Head Coach JB Bickerstaff seemed very proud of his beaten and battered team, “They laid it all out there, they gave us everything that they had and competed at a high level, they played the game properly. I’m proud of the guys, the way they went out and scrapped and competed and gave ourselves a chance.”

Cavs fans have nothing to hang their hang heads about, this team is just one or two guys away from being contenders for the top spot in the east. Without their top two scorers Monday night they managed to exceed expectations against the number seed in the east. Moral victories never count in the win column but it could help moving forward as it’s a uphill battle now for this team. It will be difficult but Cavs fans know about being down 3-1 in a series before. Now it's do or die. Both teams head back to Boston for a game five potential series ender on Wednesday night.

Nick Michaels

VSBN Radio


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